7 Mind-Blowing Optical Illusion Experiments
Admittedly, not many kids are huge fans of physics and chemistry, but the following experiments are sure to pique their interest! With just a few ingredients, they can create great optical illusions and perform amazing tricks that are almost like magic. And these experiments aren't just for kids – you'll have a great time overseeing the fun!
1. Waterproof Bag
- resealable plastic bag
- colored pencils
- pencil sharpener
Sharpen the colored pencils, fill the plastic bag with water and close it, and push the pencils through the plastic bag. Despite the puncture marks, the bag doesn't leak! IT may seem like magic, but it's actually because the pressure from the water seals the bag.
2. Visible Water Particles
- wooden skewers
- laser pointer
Dip the wooden skewer into a glass of tap water, clamp the stick with plier, and shine a laser pointer through the water droplet. Thanks to the laser pointer, you can now see the water particles magnified on the wall behind the glass.
3. Burning Sugar
- lighter fluid
- baking soda
- casserole dish
Head outside, pour some sand in a casserole dish, and drizzle some lighter fluid over it. Mix the sugar and baking soda and add it to the sand. Now light the sugar on fire and see what happens! When baking soda burns, it produces carbon dioxide, and the pressure from the carbon dioxide pushes the sugar out of the sand.
4. Matter of Perspective
- Rubik's cube
Take a picture of a Rubik's cube with a high-resolution camera, print out the picture, and cut out the cube exactly. Now place the picture on a table in front of you. If you look at the photo head-on, it looks like the cube is in front of you, but once you change your position, you realize it's all a trick!
5. Magnetic Matchstick
If matches are unused, the magnet will not attract them. But once the match burns, it produces iron, thus attracting the magnet.
6. Backwards Water
- sign with arrows on it
Place a piece of paper with arrows on it behind a glass. Fill the glass with water and marvel at how the direction of the arrows changes. What looks like magic is simple physics: the light is refracted as it passes from one material to another.
7. Swimming Shapes
- casserole dish
- dish soap
Pour some water in a casserole dish, cut some shapes out of paper, place them in the dish, and use a pipette to add some dish soap to the dish. Because soap breaks down the surface tension of water, you will see the shapes propelled across the surface.
After these experiments, everyone young and old alike will want to head straight out to the lab and continue experimenting. So grab your goggles and lab coats and get going!